Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

April 26, 2010 -- 3:17 p.m.

"Just a few hours into Boobquake day, in which lady activist-of-sorts Jennifer McCreight called upon women all over the world to wear revealing tops to refute the claim of an Iranian imam that promiscuity causes earthquakes, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake has hit Taiwan."

--From the National Post, via the New Yorker.

The background is: According to a Muslim fundamentalist, women's revealing clothing causes earthquakes and a bunch of women decided to show their clevage today to refute the statement.

While I don't deny the power of a good set of women's clevage, I figured this was a dumb idea because there are lots of earthquakes. Just because you don't hear about them or they aren't high magnitude doesn't mean they exist. For example, the U.S. Geological Service says there were 17,292 earthquakes last year. That's what, about 47 a day? And that was a slow year. We've had 4,896 in 2010, and it's only April.

Moral of the story: Think about your experiment before you do it, or risk confirming some looney guys' theory.

Besides, everyone knows that earthquakes are caused by the gays. (I'm joking!)

Monday is Funday

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

April 26, 2010 -- 12:19 p.m.

There's an article on writing from the Tor blog worth reading.

I wonder how much money you need to make to become a "frillionaire?"

I feel that way sometimes. I have a hard time seeing things through, but my rigid journalism training pushes me up and over my writing blocks. Even though I may hate writing about that damn city council meeting, I have to do it so I make the best of it. I may despise my novel at the moment, but I'll keep plugging through until it's finished. That's why, for me, writing block almost never happens. I'll write something, acknowledge it's crappy, re-write it ten thousand times, and then maybe end up satisfied. It's actually an inhibitor in some ways, because writer's block is a warning siren. I bet I wouldn't have to revise so much if I had it more often.

I miss the newspaper world in some ways. Having a deadline always hanging over my head made it easier to write, which is why the strict structures of a writing group can be very helpful.

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

April 24, 2010 -- 12:38 a.m.

I'm working on reading the Hugo nominated short stories. They're available for free online here.

Bridesicle sounded the most interesting, and the most creepy, so I read it. It's amazing in a really disgusting way. Definitely worth reading.

I'm glad it had a happy ending. And it makes me hope they NEVER invent the ability to freeze people.

Speaking of cryogenetics, if you're not a "This American Life" fan...WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? If you are, go listen to this episode. Some things are too amazing to be fiction.

Me Want...

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

April 21, 2010 -- 7:30 a.m.

I so would wear this.

My younger brothers fail to appreciate the awesomeness of Spiderpig. I think they just don't understand how epic it is.

Maybe they fail to understand the epicness of the Simpsons in general. For me, even though some more recent cartoons have surpassed them in humor (only to go down into their own abyss of repetition *cough* Family Guy), they all owe a huge debt to Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. And unlike the more recent adult cartoons, the Simpsons had heart. It was about people who, more often than not, were trying to do their best only to have things go horribly wrong. The best Simpsons episodes weren't focussed around guest stars and gimics, but around the relationships of a family that wasn't too different from our own.

That's while I'll always be a Simpsons fan, even if some episodes/entire seasons make me wince and reach for the shark repellent...

In other animation news, I finally went to see Avatar. I was pleased by the animation and all the little touches that went into the story. The technology was wonderful, the scenary breathtaking. While nothing new on the story front--white man goes and becomes truest member of native culture--there were enough little twists to keep this interesting. Like the evil corporate dude was reluctant to commit a massacre and the main character started things in a wheelchair. I don't think Avatar will become the classic Star Wars is, just because there wasn't enough groundbreaking, either in terms of idea or plot. But for what it is, it's the best. Enough little flourishes and details that I could tell everything came out of love, and I'd put it at the very top of the "nature-worship" genre, which in general bugs me because it because it's so didatic. Nature = good. Technology = bad.

There is some irony, of course, given the high involvement of technology in this film.

Speaking of Spiderman, there's also supposedly a Spiderman Broadway muscial in the works. From comics to movies to Broadway. Weird.

Soylent Black

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

April 20, 1010 -- 2:30 a.m.

Maybe this makes me a really bad person, but I find this typo hilarious.

I bet the proofreader is getting a ton of slack.

New Post

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

April 8, 2010 -- 6:38 p.m.

So yeah, I've been busy. I've been putting up fences, spending time with the family, planning trips, cannodling with Fred, celebrating birthdays, reading books and writing Skin Farm. It's about a third done, and I finally have a handle on one of the characters that was giving me a hard time.

I haven't forgotten the blog. I just haven't put the time aside to work on it. I have like thirty books in the queue for review which I'll get to. I read a lot without writing anything because I'm pretty picky about my books, and I try not to write reviews if they're mostly negative. But I think for a few of the books I review, I'm less going to advocate reading them than pointing out the lessons writers can learn from them. Even if I don't particularly like a book, I can still learn from it.

Speaking of learning, you might want to check out "Ten Rules for Writers." I especially like Margaret Atwood's advice. Number seven on her list: "You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there's no free lunch. Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you're on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine."